My thoughts, based upon personally watching almost every game managed by Jim Leyland since 2006 (a whopping lot of watching Tigers games) is that he is a class act.
I know there are a lot of detractors and they were very vocal, but I found when I spoke to them that most of them spent more time listening to talking heads talk about ballgames than actually watching the ballgames. (I realize that it is not practical for most people to watch baseball every day, so they rely on highlight reels and analysis from those who supposedly know. But also realize that those talking heads are entertainers themselves who often have extreme opinions to gather ratings. I am not a fan of any sports talk shows or writers, I get enough baseball from watching the Tigers games myself.)
Amongst Leyland's peers he receives universal admiration.
I am sad to see him go, but given his age, he deserves a less stressful role. I hoped he would return for one more year, but I guess it is time. I hope that the Tigers can find a manager that will lead the team to many winning seasons like Jim Leyland did.
Even if they don't and they become the laughing-stock of the Central again I will still be watching my Tigers and proudly wearing the ballcap.
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